2016-02-14 22.43.38

Ms. Esther Philips

Grant Advisor, Leiden University


Esther was elected Chairperson of the Association at the GA in Bolonia and official started her term as Chair at the beginning of September 2019.

Yoram Lev Yehudi

Research Support Specialist, Orientos UAB

EARMA Treasurer and Board Representative of the Finance and Governance Committee

Between us I have more than 25 years of experience in Administration of Information Technology ventures and projects, starting as a veteran of the Israeli hi-tech industry when it was in its infants. My formal education includes an MBA with specialty in corporate finance and information technology, and B.Sc. in exact sciences, both from Tel-Aviv University. I also competed a post-MBA programme of Modern Marketing, side by side with professional studies of computer programming and different software tools, SQL database systems etc. I am a technological person with strong financial background, so I am highly capable of administrating R&D ventures, be that teams, projects or organisations.

My working experience as an employee includes positions such as Director of Business Development in Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ:MGIC), Head of QA department in software company, programmer and team leader of ERP software, as well as assistant in an accounting firm (mostly student job during my academic studies).

In 2004 I became self-employed when I took a step and (co)founded a private company based in Tel-Aviv (Beacon Tech Ltd), servicing clients from industry and academia in their Innovation Management needs. I managed this company since inception until these days (the company reduced its economic activity in 2017). In this framework I became highly experienced with administrative coordination of large grants for R&D (full list in my LinkedIn profile) as well as management of a commercial company. I believe that this background makes me quite an authority in what is called the “post-award” space. I also served, for a period of 4 years, as an independent evaluator of the Israeli Innovation Authority, in the software pillar, assessing conditional grant requests of innovative companies.

In 2016, I have moved to live in Vilnius, Lithuania. There, I established my own shop ( and I continue to actively work with EU-project management (most recent one is, while also serving private customers in their endeavours to receive EIC grants (formerly SME Instrument). In project management I usually work under multiple hats, collaborating with relevant business partners and stakeholders in this area. In the consulting part of business, I usually work under my own brand.


Maria Maunula

Research Funding Specialist University of Turku, Finland.

EARMA Board Member, Chair for the Annual Conference Programme Committee and Board representative of the Membership and Communications Committee

In my permanent position as research funding specialist, I support researchers in acquiring external funding from all funders at all stages of their career. Since 2017, I have specialised in assisting applicants from the medical and biosciences. My strongest expertise is on EU framework funding, particularly in ERC and Marie S. Curie actions, and I have a wide range of experience on national and international project idea and application development from funders such as the U.S. NIH and many large foundations. I have shared and will continue to share this expertise also at EARMA conferences. I have been an invited speaker outside of my organisation and have lately done some consulting around ERC calls (in Turkey and Spain). In 2019-2020 I worked as an Impact Coordinator for a large (~100 staff) Flagship INVEST supporting researchers from social sciences, psychology and child psychiatry. The core of this work has been in ensuring impact beyond academia, but also motivating the researchers to pursue new ways of communicating their results.

My interests lie in supporting scientists and finding better ways to ease their burden in the world of research funding. I am also very interested in communication and lead our communication team in the University of Turku Research Funding unit. Within the INVEST Flagship I have focussed on stakeholder and wider audience science communication. I proactively explore new ways of communicating, along with more traditional ones; for development, interchange of and engagement with scientific ideas and findings.

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Evelina Brännvall

Research Funding Specialist, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden

EARMA Board Member, Board Representative for the External Relationships Committee and Board Representative for the Professional Development and Recognition Committee

Dr. Evelina Brännvall is an EARMA Certified Research Manager working as Research Funding Specialist at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden.
She has her background in natural sciences (geology) and has a fairly long academic career. Her PhDs in Environmental Engineering in Lithuania (2006) and in Waste Science and Technology in Sweden (2013) paved the way to become an Expert Evaluator for the European Commission’s framework programmes since 2008 (FP7) as well as for Research Council in Lithuania just few to mention. Her main area of responsibility, in her current role, is EU funding, while she also supports the university management on the external funding issues.

She started her EARMA membership in 2014 from being in the Annual Conference Committee member and Professional Development Track 3 Leader contributing to the organization of four EARMA Annual Conferences of which in Luleå 2016 she was also a local host. In 2016 she also joined the Professional Development Working group and stepped down in 2017 in conjunction to EARMA structural changes and her new role in EARMA.

Evelina was elected as a board member of EARMA in April 2017 and presently acts as Board Representative for the External Relationships Committee and Board Representative for the Professional Development and Recognition Committee.


Borbala Schenk

Member of the EARMA Board and serves as the Chair of the Policy and Representation Committee

Dr. Borbala Schenk Consultancy

Dr. Borbala Schenk, a lawyer by degree, is a research funding advisor with 16 years of experience in research and university environments, having held management, lecturing and editorial positions. The focus of her consultancy work is assisting institutions in the EU13 member states in strengthening their presence on the EU research funding scene. She is member of EARMA Board and serves as Chair of the Policy and Representation Committee representing research managers in stakeholder events in the European funding negotiations. She has been an invited trainer and speaker at conferences and workshops in Brussels, Leuven, Budapest, Bologna, Lisbon and Zagreb. More information:,


Simon Kerridge

EARMA Board Member, Deputy Chair for the Annual Conference Programme Committee and Board Representative of the Awards Committee

Director of Research Services,
University of Kent


Ragnar Lie

Senior Advisor Universities Norway, Oslo Area

Substitute EARMA Board Member & Member of the Annual Conference Programme Committee

I have been working with research management on different levels from for more than 30 years.
Starting my career in the Norwegian research council in 1989, I moved to the University of Oslo (UiO)
to take part in building up ARENA, an EU research centre. Starting from scratch in 1993, we built up a
world-class research unit, - with a professionalised research administration. Core principles of this
were later used as best practice regarding research management elsewhere at the University, and
then, to be honest, nationally through NARMA.

My main employment since 2011 has been at the Norwegian ‘Rector’s Conference’; Universities
Norway, where I am responsible for research politics (including research support and administration)
as well as leadership development programmes. In 2012, I initiated the establishment of NARMA, the
Norwegian network for research administrators in Norway. NARMA is now a vibrant network and
mutual learning arena for research administrators in Norway. In 2018 we started planning for hosting
the EARMA conference 2020 in Oslo, and with an enthusiastic local host group, the conference was
set to go this April with more than 1000 participants. Given the corona pandemic, plans had to be
changed, but we hope to gather the EARMA family in Oslo asap.


Eleonora Zuolo

Substitute Board Member & Member of the Annual Conference Programme Committee

Sorbonne University, France

My whole career has been devoted to setting up and implementing research grants, looking for new funding opportunities and representing universities in networks. I have been working in Research Support for the last 11 years.
I have extensive experience in:
- Pre-Award and incentive strategies to motivate researchers to apply more, and better, to European R&I calls: I have been working towards this challenging objective in a CNRS Research Laboratory and in three different French HEIs (Cnam, University Paris Diderot and Sorbonne University),
- Professional development: today, I am in charge of training and advising research support staff at Sorbonne University (around 10 people) in my new position as Research Funding Specialist. In the past, I trained my staff (6 people) for 4 years in European research funding, Pre-Award and Project Management,
- The overall improvement of organisational processes related to research support and the grant life-cycle: this has been my focus since my position as Head of Pre-Award and Management at University Paris Diderot in 2018,
- European Research Policy: I have developed strong knowledge and know-how in this field in order to represent the interests of my universities in national and European networks (such as The Guild of European Universities).

Becoming an EARMA host institution

If your institution is interested in becoming a host institution please contact We would be most grateful if you could specify the number of places you would be willing to host and the preferred time of year.